Functional significance and structure–activity relationship of food-derived α-glucosidase inhibitors

Elisa Di Stefano, Teresa Oliviero, Chibuike C. Udenigwe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

60 Citations (Scopus)


The ageing population, together with unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and obesity are the main drivers of the increased prevalence of Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Apart from pharmacological treatments, the food industries can play a significant role in the management of T2DM. One of the main strategies is to reduce the sugar content in food. Moreover, another promising strategy is to design food products with natural ingredients that are capable of inhibiting α-glucosidase during digestion, thereby reducing the rate of glucose release from ingested carbohydrate. Studies report that food-derived phenolic compounds, peptides, terpenoids and non-starch polysaccharides inhibit α-glucosidase activity. This review discusses the structure-function relationship of α-glucosidase inhibitors from food sources, and their potential application in modulating glucose metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Food Science
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


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